"In football, you never know," said Fernando Torres to AS recently when probed as to whether he could ever return to the club that made him a star, Atletico Madrid.
He added: "You don’t know where you’re going to be tomorrow, in a week’s time or in ten years’ time."
The pace and goal-scoring ability of a young Fernando Torres was fundamental in Atletico Madrid's storming of the Segunda Division in 2002, his elevation into the national team picture with Spain in the following year and, in 2007, his high-profile transfer to Liverpool, where he enjoyed his best years as a professional before linking up in an inter-Premier League transfer record (£50m) to Chelsea.
While at Stamford Bridge he has won some of the biggest honours available to a member of an elite-level football club, yet his form does not particularly reflect that of a player fundamental to that success. He is sporadically-used by Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea predecessors and, this season alone, has returned a goal once every 295 minutes he is on the field, on average.
Judging from his comments to the Spanish press, should Atletico wish to bring their former son back to the Rojiblanco family, then that could be a very real possibility. Torres even said he "admires" manager Diego Simeone: "He helped me a lot - he taught me how to be a captain, he taught me a lot in the seasons we played together at Atleti… I always want to work with people I admire."
Chelsea will not want to keep their low-performing stars with high contracts at Chelsea so if an opportunity arose to sell one of them, like Torres for example, then that must be explored… particularly when the Spaniard could be used as a tempting makeweight for reliable hitman Diego Costa, who has returned 22 goals and four assists from 27 La Liga appearances - one goal/assist every 89 minutes he plays, on average.
That striking feat is even replicated on the grand European stage of Champions League football - something that would no doubt be a selling-point for a buying club like Chelsea as Costa has, thus far this season, netted an astonishing seven times and assisted once (one goal/assist every 46 minutes… Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez territory).
The player, 25, has been continually linked with a move to Stamford Bridge. Just six days ago, Metro reported a £27m offer could be made in the summer, yet if Torres were attached to the deal and Chelsea were able to purchase Costa for £17m then it could end up proving the bargain of the transfer window.